Skip to main content

The universal sentiment on DKos is that these two "news" organizations, along with pretty much the rest of corporate MSM, are infuriating, intolerable, and actually dangerous.

We all agree that something needs to be done, and are working our arses off to do something really significant on November 4th.

Read below the jump on what to do starting November 5th.

One of the things we should all look forward to under an Obama presidency and Democrat supermajority is the restoration of the 1949 Fairness Doctrine (or Rep. Slaughter's [NY-28] Media Act), which Ronald Ray-gun vetoed in 1987 when it was voted as law by a Congress unable to override the veto (the Congressional Vote was supported by J. Helms and N. Gingrich, so it "weren't just no Republican thingy! Also.").

Thank you, Sarah Palin, for that straight talkin' "plain speech"...but I digress!

The Fairness Doctrine corrects three things we at DKos have noted continually:

  1. Because broadcast licenses cost significant money, conglomerates are currently the only organizations that can buy airtime. They then put up the Michael "Autism Racket" Savages, Rush "Teen Sex" Limbaughs, and Ann "Harpies" Coulters of the world as their preferred opinion voices. These conglomerates are the ones who then give us the lie that "no one wants to buy airtime for center-left voices," but think about it: if the only talk radio and cable stations we can access are controlled by these conglomerates, and in turn these are the only places advertisers can go, then there is no alternative for them. The Fairness Doctrine/Media Act will demand equal time for the public airwaves, and thus, equal opportunity for advertisers/viewpoints.
  1. To see what political advertising looked like under the Fairness Doctrine, take a look at the the political ads from 1960 (the race closest, IMHO, to 2008) on this site. Five minute ads? Actual comparisons of policy? You must be kidding, right?
  1. Far from limiting free speech, this actually would has the effect of moving discourse back into the public arena, where it can become civilized once it moves from "entertainment" (Limbaugh, Coulter, O'Reilly, and other non-serious commentators) to opinions vying for serious consideration (we all saw how childish and churlish McSame looked while "debating" a more serous Obama, who had the facts, and we need more of the same). As Rep. Slaughter put it in her interview with Bill Moyers, "If they [the conglomerates] owned the airwaves, then I'd probably have no complaint. But they don't. It belongs to us. Part of our democracy. It's part of the ability that we have to contact our citizens. It's a way that we want our children to grow up with some understanding of what this country is about and what it's based on and what their choices are."

Rep. Slaughter has been a voice in the wilderness for too long, and she needs some "Real Americans" to join her. We've always said we hated the coarse, juvenile, Rovian sound bite crap that we all despise every four years (and on the news every night); now is our chance to do something about it!

This is one of the many things I'm going to be fighting for come Nov.5th. What about you?

Originally posted to skeezixwolfnagle on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:33 AM PDT.

Poll

Come Nov. 5th, I Plan to...

12%8 votes
84%53 votes
3%2 votes

| 63 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Abolishing the Fairness Doctrine. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skeezixwolfnagle

    What a great metaphor for the past 8 years.

    MCCAIN/PALIN - A BRIDGE TO NOWHERE.

    by lrbreckenripple on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:39:05 AM PDT

  •  How about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luku

    just anti-trust laws addressing media conglomerates so there's a larger diversity of voices on the airwaves?
    Faux news couldn't get away with their lies if there was real competition . We already see that with MSNBC (Olbermann/Maddow) taking away their audience.

    McCain insisted [no union member] would [pick lettuce for $50/hour] for a complete season. "You can't do it, my friends."

    by grrr on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:39:53 AM PDT

  •  Fairness Doctrine and NPR (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, bring back the fairness doctrine and appoint some hard asses to make sure the networks actually adhere to it.

    Also, purge all the Bush appointees to NPR.  He ruined it.

    •  re: NPR (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sydneyluv

      It is now impossible to listen to them.  They should rename it "National Republican Radio."  My daily commute is about 20 minutes each way, and I used to listen to NPR.  I can't stand it anymore.  All they do is spout the talking points of God's Own Party.  

      This morning, for one example, they said, "Senator Obama claims that his tax plan will not increase taxes for most Americans," then cut to a long tape of McCain himself spouting his lies about our candidate.  So we get an announcer voice-over about Obama's "claims," followed by McCain's personalized campaign ad.  What BS!

      They also had a "red-to-blue" story about Colorado in which EVERY voter interviewed was Republican, and the heavy-handed implication was that Colorado was now and probably always would be red.

      They have become so unbalanced that I've vowed to treat them like Fox and never listen to them again.

      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke

      by mathGuyNTulsa on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:53:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  FD is dead and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redstater, skeezixwolfnagle

    there's no way to resurrect it.  Too many media formats, no way to regulate them.  Do you want DKos to be forced to require 50% of its postings to be from Mac's side?  It only worked when it did because all media was licensed (the 3 broadcast networks essentially).

    -- Hope is the adrenaline of the mind. --

    by Druid800 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:45:33 AM PDT

  •  What about taking on the right wing hate mongers (0+ / 0-)

    one by one.  Let's try to hit them where it hurts.  For example, one could decide to take on Comedian Rush Limbaugh and try to take some sort of action against his sponsors and see if we can get the ad money to dry up.  Hasn't the right used this tactic against the media.  Obviously, more would be involved.  However, I think the financial tsunami engulfing Michelle Bachmann has shown that the netroots can mobilize quickly and successfully.                  

  •  None of the Proposed Remedies Does Enough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    artmartin, Verbalobe

    The biggest problem is not unfairness, it's lack of substantive coverage of any kind especially discussion from any viewpoint at an adult level.

    And that is caused by our system of government itself, including the revered 1st Amendment.

    Many people in broadcast including on our side such as Thom Hartmann remind us that the Fairness Doctrine caused a suppression of much issue coverage to avoid the controversy and demands for equal time.

    Plus we're migrating to privately owned distribution space such as cable and satellite, where the FCC has no authority since there is no limited public space requiring or even permitting licensing.

    Breaking up corporate monopolies cannot put the past 30 years' evil spirits back into Pandora's Box. It's not just people who learn from experience, markets do too, and markets have learned from a generation of corporate news that good journalistic news cannot possibly be viable to the mainstream electorate.

    The lessons of economic efficiency vs journalism are the same for a neighborhood rag as they are for Disney and Clear Channel. It's still more profitable for me and my little rag to stick to infotainment, gossip and escapism than it is to provide investigative journalism and a forum for public discussion at a level the framers knew was necessary for their system.

    My nomination for a starting place would be to model the steps civilization took toward creating a free public "commons" for the shipment of goods and services.

    We declared, purely by fiat, that nobody would be permitted to operate the high seas, most rivers and harbors, most roads and most air lanes as private property. Anyone who tried --like the original European Robber Barons-- would be declared pirates or highwaymen and punished accordingly.

    We can do the same with the information distribution infrastructure. Like (much of) the Internet, we can variously nationalize or internationalize all the distribution infrastructure, making it legally equivalent to the physical high seas and the electromagnetic "air waves" as a public commons.

    Then we can leave the historic 1st Amendment intact as far as all the speakers and content creators go, but create fairness not by balancing content, but by balancing access.

    We don't need Hannity to spend half or any of his show promoting Obama. But we do need shows promoting Obama to have the same access to the public "packetwaves" that Hannity has.

    This approach will also give us the crucial opening to break the monopoly of the for-profit system of information and communication. It's the profit motive, even more fundamentally than large corporate ownership, that suppresses many crucial aspects of speech and debate.

    Complex issue debate, serious candidate debates etc. not just during elections but all the time, can be supported on a nonprofit or low profit basis if there is a way to force access for them into the information environment.

    Again, we don't need to regulate anyone's speech, but we can break the profit monopoly's structural suppression of the peoples' speech access and distribution.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 11:04:31 AM PDT

    •  The FCC Has Authority in Satellite and Cable (0+ / 0-)

      Read the Decision in United States v. Southwestern Cable, which has been upheld since its issue in 1969.

      Thank you for your eloquent defense of FD:

      "We don't need Hannity to spend half or any of his show promoting Obama. But we do need shows promoting Obama to have the same access to the public "packetwaves" that Hannity has. [Precisely what FD was about]

      This approach will also give us the crucial opening to break the monopoly of the for-profit system of information and communication. It's the profit motive, even more fundamentally than large corporate ownership, that suppresses many crucial aspects of speech and debate.

      Complex issue debate, serious candidate debates etc. not just during elections but all the time, can be supported on a nonprofit or low profit basis if there is a way to force access for them into the information environment."

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site